Thailand, Myanmar agree to cooperate
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Thailand, Myanmar agree to cooperate

A bird's eye view of Myeik town in Myanmar. (Photo by Chukiat Singboorana)
A bird's eye view of Myeik town in Myanmar. (Photo by Chukiat Singboorana)

Thailand and Myanmar have signed a collaboration deal to promote tourism routes connecting ancient cities of the two countries in preparation for a travel boom expected from Asean.

Thailand's Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta) earlier this month signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Myanmar authorities to foster sustainable and cultural travel routes connecting old cities in both countries.

Under the MoU, Dasta and authorities of Myeik, located in southern Myanmar, will together develop and promote tourism plans by linking historical sites from the ancient Dvaravati period, a powerful kingdom that flourished from the 6th to the 11th centuries.

The first phase of the tourism project consists of five routes from Thailand's U Thong ancient city through western Thailand to Tanintharyi, an ancient city in Myanmar, namely U Thong-Suphan Buri, U Thong-Kanchanaburi, U Thong-Nakhon Pathom, U Thong-Prachuap Khiri Khan and U Thong-Myeik.

Chumpol Musiganont, Dasta deputy director, said the new travel routes will help broaden Asean tourism.

The routes will be managed under the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's criteria to sustain natural and cultural resources.

Moreover, the initiative will preserve the authenticity of local lifestyles, customs and cultures in the ancient Dvaravati areas between Thailand and Myanmar.

"We expect the partnership with Myeik city, the largest city in the Tanintharyi Division, and the cooperation from U Thong Ancient City's authorities will help boost tourist numbers to these historical sites in Thailand, especially from Myanmar," said Mr Chumpol.

He said if the Singkhon border pass in Prachuap Khiri Khan is upgraded to a permanent border in the near future, this checkpoint will become the main gateway between Thailand and southern Myanmar.

Companies in both countries also signed an MoU to promote the region, along with the authority for U Thong Ancient City, the Suphan Buri tourism council, and the Myeik tourism and hotels association and Tour Guide Club.

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